What You Can Buy: 21 Days & Counting

Properties in San Francisco commonly go into contract within a week or two of being on the market. Which means that things move quickly. However, there are many homes that have been on the market for three weeks or more. In my never-ending quest to unearth buyer opportunities, I wanted to profile a trio of properties that are available with no offer date—and potentially, no competition:

424 28th Street
Noe Valley

Days on Market (DOM): 24
3BR/2BA, no parking
List price: $1,595,000
Finding a spacious, detached single-family home in a good location in Noe Valley for less than $2M is a bit of a challenge these days. That’s why I’m surprised no one’s snapped up 424 28th Street. Yes, this house is a little quirky, with bedrooms scattered among three levels, and no, there’s not a garage. But you can take it upon yourself to add parking (there’s an estimate on file for $120,000 for a garage installation). The sellers have secured a leased parking space in the interim that’s only half a block away. You also have front and rear backyards, views, and a family room. The house is situated two and a half blocks from the J Church Muni station and the shops/restaurants in the south end of Noe. [Read more…]

Real Estate Near Fort Mason, Twist in Latest Sales

There are plenty of events happening in Fort Mason, the Marina outpost that hosts food truck gatherings, the city’s best vegetarian restaurant, a music school and other more interesting enterprises. Welcome the Epic Foodie Festival to the mix, which is sponsored by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and features multiple events such as The Grand Tasting.

And if you’re interested in real estate that’s in walking distance of Fort Mason, we profile three new listings that fit the bill.

All that plus a market overview that shows that not every sale in San Francisco sells for way over the asking price. In fact, this batch has several sales that show under-asking prices.

It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker!

The Most Competitive House Markets in San Francisco Right Now

If you’re aiming to buy or sell a single-family home in San Francisco, it’s important to take note of the selling patterns in the city’s various neighborhoods. You’ve probably read my blog post from earlier this week on the hottest condo markets, but when it comes to overbidding on houses, the landscape looks slightly different.

The neighborhoods where buyers are overbidding most intensely are varied, and there are many. [Read more…]

The Most Competitive Condo Markets in San Francisco Right Now

One of the keys to success in the current San Francisco market is knowing which neighborhoods are the most competitive. Armed with that intel, you can more easily gauge how much to offer on a property, or what list price will work to your advantage.

As many of my regular readers know, I’ve been running a feature highlighting extreme overbidding for several months, regularly inducting new members into the SF Overbidders Club. The reality is that we have many neighborhoods in San Francisco that are showing double-digit overbid percentages, and it’s important to know what the selling patterns are when you’re determining values.

When it comes to the San Francisco market, these patterns can change pretty quickly. My sales data is based on reported MLS sales in the time period April 1 – May 12, 2014, so it’s the most current info available. [Read more…]

SF Overbidders Head Into the Holidays

The two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving saw a flurry of buying activity in San Francisco. However, the level of overbidding wasn’t as rabid as it was a few months ago. I did manage to find three new SF Overbidders Club members (criteria: paying 25%+ over the list price) who turned up in the Castro, Marina, and Presidio Heights.

1032 Castro
Eureka Valley

List Price: $959,000
Sale Price: $1,340,000
Overbid Amount: 40%
Closed Escrow: 11/15/13

This modest home with a quirky downstairs third bedroom and bath received an onslaught of offers, primarily because it was a house vs. a condo, in a popular location—and also had two-car parking.

2451 Bay

List Price: $2,375,000
Sale Price: $3,250,000
Overbid Amount: 37%
Closed Escrow: 11/27/13

Graced with odd curb appeal, 2451 Bay is situated directly across the street from the Palace of Fine Arts—which is fabulous if you don’t mind the constant presence of tourists outside your door most of the time. The spacious home has been updated throughout, and also has a large, unwarranted one-bedroom unit and a large garage. Paying almost 40% over asking in all cash did the trick!

3311 Jackson
Presidio Heights

List Price: $2,880,000
Sale Price: $3,701,000
Overbid Amount: 28.5%
Closed Escrow: 11/15/13

3311 Jackson was in the same family for six generations, which is code for “needs updating and probably a major renovation.” But that didn’t scare off the buyer, who paid almost 40% over the list price for this large corner home in a great location just south of the Presidio.

Hot New Marina Listings, Hot Sales, Fun SF Sights

The latest Zephyr MarketTracker rounds up the most recent sales, which is always fun. But this edition spotlights a trio of new Marina listings, along with a quick market update. (Prices are still going up—surprise!)

And if you’ve got family or friends visiting this weekend, check out our list of lesser-known tourist attractions (golden fire hydrant at 20th & Church, anyone?) that will steer you away from yet another visit to Fisherman’s Wharf.

It’s all here in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker!

Just Sold: Luxurious Marina Condo

1111 Bay #207 is a spacious 2BR/2BA with an open floor plan and lovely natural light throughout. My clients are going to love the roof deck with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and multiple seating areas. Included are parking, storage closet and common greenbelt area. A real plus is that the building is one of the rare ones in the neighborhood that isn’t on liquefaction.

The location at Bay and Van Ness is in easy walking distance to Fort Mason, Polk Street, Chestnut Street and the Marina Green. List price: $1,015,000.

What You Can Buy: North End Condos for Up To $1M

It can be a challenge to find a 2BR condo with parking in classic San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Marina, Nob Hill, and Pacific Heights. Today we look at three properties that fit into that price range:

1655 Chestnut #302
The Marina

2BR/2BA, 1100 sq ft
HOAs $523/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: One of the few properties that isn’t in a liquefaction zone in the Marina, 1655 Chestnut #302 boasts a top-floor position in an 11-unit building, along with neighborhood views from the living/dining areas. Well appointed with Brazilian cherry wood floors throughout, the unit has a remodeled kitchen with high-end appliances, and skylights. The building has a roof deck, garden/BBQ area, storage, and an elevator.

The Location: 1655 Chestnut is about three and a half blocks from the heart of the Chestnut Street retail area, so you’re out of the fray a bit and don’t have to deal with constant activity outside your door. It’s also an excellent location for North Bay commuters, who can jump on Lombard and head to the bridge. Many bus lines run nearby to downtown, as well.

Background Check: The unit last sold in 2007 for $951,000.

939 Jackson #202
Nob Hill

2BR/2BA, 1088 sq ft
HOAs $397/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: 939 Jackson #202 is perfect for the Nob Hill buyer on a budget. Though you don’t get views, you do get decent space in a newer, 2005-built property. The unit has nice finishes and an open kitchen/living/dining room floor plan. Bedrooms aren’t huge, but are nicely painted. Jackson is right on the cable car line (though the unit is located at the rear of the second floor, so it’s quiet). And there’s a great roof deck with 360-degree views.

The Location: The only problem here is that you may have more house guests than you might want; you’re in walking distance to North Beach, Russian Hill, Chinatown, downtown, and Union Square.

Background Check: #202 just sold in June 2012 for $903,000. #301 in the building is currently in contract with a list price of $949,000; that unit had views from every room and was one floor up.

2315 Divisadero, Unit S
Pacific Heights

2BR/1.5BAs, 1115 sq ft
HOAs $432/month, 1 pkg

The Scoop: My favorite of this trio, 2315 Divisadero unit S has newly reinvigorated common areas and gets great natural light. It’s on the top floor of a nine-unit building constructed in 1962, and has an open dining/living area. The kitchen is on the small side and is tucked at the rear of the unit, but it’s totally workable and clean. The master has only a half bath, but it’s better than one bathroom for the whole place. The unit’s hardwood floors have recently been refinished, there’s a wood-burning fireplace, and designer lighting fixtures. And don’t forget about those common areas, they’ve been painted, had carpet replaced and new front doors for each unit installed (with plantation shutters for the hall windows on the way). There’s an elevator in the building.

The Location: Though you’re right on Divisadero, the unit is quiet with the windows shut and you can’t beat the central location.

Background Check: Six of the nine units are rentals, so your choice of lenders will be limited to First Republic. No 30-year fixed loans available, but you can get a 15-year fixed at a low interest rate.

What You Can Buy for $500,000

Half a million in San Francisco will typically land you a studio or one-bedroom condo. I thought I’d round up some of my recent picks in three different neighborhoods so you could see what space and amenities you could have in this price range.

First up is 1734 Bay #205 in the Marina:

1734 Bay is located on a fairly busy stretch of road, but it’s wildly central to Chestnut Street, the Marina Green, Safeway and Crissy Field. This 1BR/1BA listed at $499,00 is an end unit that includes deeded parking, deck, elevator and laundry room on the ground floor. So no dragging your dirty pants up to Chestnut Street to have them cleaned. There’s a galley kitchen, wall-to-wall carpeting, and ample closet and storage space. HOA dues are $378/month. Yes, this is a short sale—and the unit is tenant occupied—but at this price point in the Marina, it’s not a bad deal.

We move on to Potrero Hill and check out 1695 18th Street #304:

I showed this 1BR/1.5BA loft a couple months ago when it was initially listed for $539,000. It’s now been relisted for $499,000, which may or may not be enough to convince a buyer to make an offer. The unit is lovely, but a bit small. However, it has city views from the sleeping level, and is located within a very cool artist building with nice common spaces. 1695 18th is also in a prime Potrero location near all the restaurants, shops and cafes that make Potrero one of the more desirable places to live in San Francisco. HOA dues are $225/month, which is pretty low, and they actually cover earthquake insurance, which is rare. (Oh, and I couldn’t find a decent link to a property site, so you’ll have to take my word for it on the details.)

Our last stop is 88 Townsend #303 in South Beach:

So 88 Townsend is probably my favorite South Beach building. I helped my client purchase a studio there last year, and fell in love with the building even more. #303 is a junior 1BR with one bath, deeded parking and storage. The building was constructed in 2004 and is one block from the ball park, Tres, and all forms of convenient public transportation. Yes, this unit is tenant occupied, but it’s being represented that the property will be vacant by close of escrow. HOA dues are $402/month. The building has an amazing roof deck, and you’ll also get excellent weather in this particular micro-climate. Last sold for $545,000 in 2007, list price for 2011 is $499,999.

Marina vs Mission, MoMa Update & More

The latest San Francisco numbers are out, and you can get the details in the latest MarketTracker. (Surprise: House and condo prices are up over the past 180 days.)

We also present a Mission vs Marina smackdown, along with an update on the Museum of Modern Art’s upcoming expansion. Plus, get the deets on Mission Playground’s excellent upgrades that will really benefit the neighborhood.

It’s all here in this issue of MarketTracker. Enjoy!

How’s the Market In: The Marina

The Marina buyer is usually looking for proximity to The Bay, Chrissy Field, the Marina Green and all that Chestnut Street has to offer—not to mention the opportunity to spot various Giants team members partying in the neighborhood. Despite the known shaky ground upon which the Marina sits that makes it quite vulnerable in an earthquake, homes continue to sell briskly and for large amounts of money year round.

And this year has been no exception. A total of 21 single-family homes has sold this year to date, for an average of $2,204,105. The most notable sale took place in January, when the 5BR/5.5BA, 7000-square foot home at 2140 Jefferson changed hands for $6.5M. Here’s a look a this impressive property, which was actually two addresses joined together:

The house was literally next to the Palace of Fine Arts, which isn’t a bad neighbor to have. Here’s a look at 2140 Jefferson’s deck, with the Palace in the background:

Though the condo market in the Marina wasn’t as exciting, it was actually quite busy. Forty units sold this year, with most selling above the $1M price point (average price was $1,034,718). One of the least expensive units sold was on Bay—a 1BR/1BA with one-car parking for $525,000. And the most expensive? The 4BR/3.5BA first-floor, 2700-square foot condo with two-car parking in a two-unit building with Bay and bridge views that sold for $2.3M in March.

There are currently five single-family homes on the market, ranging in price from $1,349,500-$3,499,000, with two houses in contract. For condo buyers, there is plenty of inventory from which to choose. Fifteen units are available, from $590,000-$1,395,000 (and five condos in contract). The Marina is a popular choice for TIC owners, too, given all the multi-unit buildings. Three TICs are on the market (including one at $1,099,000, and three are in contract.

What You Can Buy for $1M

There’s a wide variety of properties in San Francisco, and we take a look today at three very different homes at the $1M price point:

3569 Pierce
List Price: $995,000
2BR/1BA, 1575 sq ft
1-car pkg
HOA dues: $250/mo
This first-floor condo in a two-unit building has a gourmet kitchen, wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room and hardwood floors. There’s also a shared, landscaped garden. Location is prime Marina, close to Marina Green and the Chestnut Street retail area.

65 Borica Street
Ingleside Terrace
List Price: $998,000
4BR/2BA, 1719 sq ft
2-car parking
Fully detached and built in 1923, this Spanish-Mediterranean single-family home has a Mayan fireplace, formal dining room, spacious kitchen with a garden view, and rear decks. The price was reduced in mid May from $1,129,000 to the current $998,000 list price.

472-474 Pennsylvania
Potrero Hill
List Price: $995,000
Two units
2-car pkg
Consider this two-unit building that will be delivered vacant. There are two 2BR/1BAs, a terraced yard, and two-car side-by-side parking. Good Potrero location, in walking distance of both Potrero shops and restaurants, as well as the Dogpatch cafes and restaurants (and about five blocks away from the Muni line that runs up & down Third Street). You’re a little close to 280 here, but how much that will bother you is a personal choice. This is a good option for someone with a decent down payment who wants to owner occupy one unit and rent out the other. Or, go in with a friend and keep your costs manageable.

Miraloma, Marina, Mission Homes for the Holidays

What kind of properties come on the market the week before Christmas? A handful across several neighborhoods in San Francisco have appeared in search of buyers since late last week. Here are my picks for the decent ones that seem worth writing an offer for before you leave town:

Hot on the heels of its similar neighbor at 155 Stillings that garnered 13 offers earlier this month, 79 Melrose in Miraloma Park is an 806-square foot 2BR/1BA single-family home. It has a two-car garage and a remodeled kitchen (though a preliminary check doesn’t show any permits for the remodel). List price: $699,000.

3571 Pierce is in a sweet Marina location at Beach. The 2BR/1BA condo also has the expected sunroom in its floor plan, as well as one-car tandem parking, a fireplace, and formal dining room. HOAs are $160/mo. List price: $985,000.

3453 18th Street at Valencia is in the heart of the most desirable part of the Mission. This newly converted, top-floor condo in a two-unit building has 2BR/1BA and a remodeled kitchen, with an “additional bedroom/artist’s studio and half bath” on the ground level. This space is about 250 square feet and is being suggested for an in-law or au pair unit that could possibly generate income. There’s also one-car, tandem parking and HOA dues are $150/mo. List price: $799,000.

Saturated in the Marina

If you’re in the market for a condo, a good place to check out is the Marina. I toured a number of available units this week on my broker open. The properties on the market range from $955,000 for a 2BR/2BA unit with about 1200 square feet, to a 2,000 square foot property on North Point listed at $1.8M.

The bottom line is that deals may abound. My favorite property in the area is actually not a condo; it’s a renovated, two-unit building at 3514-3516 Pierce. The owner renovated both units and are offering them as TICs. Both are 2BR/2BA units with dining rooms, wood-burning fireplaces, and two-car parking. While the lower unit has 1340 square feet, the upper has 1,535 square feet, plus a 470-square foot, exclusive use roof deck with an outdoor kitchen and, of course, Golden Gate Bridge views. 86 days on the market and counting. At the right price, this TIC arrangement could be a nice deal.

Market Update: Pac Hghts, Cow Hollow, Marina

Today we take a look at these three neighborhoods, always popular with buyers. Here’s how these areas fared in the last quarter of 2008:

Pacific Heights
Single-Family Homes
2BR: $2,505,000 (1 sold)
3BR: $3,950,000 (2 sold)
Take note: Both the $3M and $4.9M 3BR homes that sold were on the market for 92 and 88 days, respectively. Not too bad for the current market.

1BR: $765,833 (6 sold)
2BR: $1,134,208 (12 sold)
3BR: $1,307,357 (7 sold)
Take note: The most expensive condo sold in the last quarter was a 2BR/2BA view unit on Broadway at Buchanan that had two-car parking, listed at $2M. The buyer paid $2,125,000 in the middle of November.

Cow Hollow
Single-Family Homes
3BR: $1,817,5000 (2 sold)

2BR: $842,000 (1 sold)
3BR: $1,772,500 (4 sold)

The Marina
No reported sales for single-family homes or condos.